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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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exodus101

#260
Hey David,

That last group of pictures looks great!  I like the fields, trees, and creek of course but was equally impressed with the layout of you rural little town.  I've done a some research of my own over at GoogleMaps to see exactly what a small midwest farm town might look like streetwise and you have nailed it! 

Looking forward to the next update!  Hope your eye is on the mend....

-Stephen


Welcome to page 14!!


pvarcoe

Hi David.
Excellent update and I hope your eye issues are behind you.

Super detailing on your stream. I realize you mention it didn't take a ton of time to create it, but...
Most of us would (will) spend a gastly amount of time to approach anything like what you've done.

I concur with your comments about fields. The fields here in Manitoba don't quite look the same as these either, but you make do what what you have. Never the less, I love the assortment of fields that are available to us.

I have a question about the shots of your village. Unless it is just the zoom level you are at in your shots, do your streets (or roads or whatever those grey transportation things are, I always get them mixed up), not have any sidewalks, especially in the actual village? Is there something going on here you want to tell us about. Or is my memory on how these should look really going? In my defense I have been stricky terraforming for a couple of months ;)

Really nice update,
you do a great job of mixing up the technical updates and the eye candy.

Phil

dedgren

#262
So I'm going to ease my way in to the "we respond to you" post I've been talking about for the last five days or so.

...procrastinate, procrastinate- we've heard it all before...

I'm at home on the second and last day of the "vacation" my doctor recommended by way of letting my eye...

...LOL, Nik-nik [linkie]...

...heal and rest a bit, so naturally I gravitated to the 'puter and started futzing with those farm fields that have me so frazzled.  Let me note here the posts by both Gaston and Tarkus made yesterday, the 22nd, before I go on.

First, Gaston said


QuoteI can understand what you mean about the farm fields.    I have to say I wish they were better.     At the same time I am truely impressed with the effort that the folks that made them have put in to them.     It is very difficult for me to have any kind of complaint about any lot  when I have no clue how to even start creating something like that.    ???   I will continue to be thankful for all the great stuff people are willing to spend time making.   That of course doesn't stop me from asking questions or making suggestions.

Then, Tarkus followed with


QuoteI had kind of wondered about those harvesting cycles myself, but I concur with Gaston, too, that it was at least nice for someone to create some better looking ones.  Heck, the Maxis ones don't even harvest at all.

As usual, others said what I wish I had.  I am so grateful to the amazing folks who have created the world of custom content out there.  They've almost singlehandedly kept this great game we play fresh and alive long after any reasonable expectation that it would still be taking up space on anyone's hard drive.  There's nothing else like SC4's continued popularity in today's computer game world, where the product life of a new "big thing" game is measured in months, and a year or so at best.  Remember Myst [linkie]?  I thought it would remain fascinating forever the first six months I played it.  Pretty soon afterwards, though, the puzzles had all been solved and the paths to the final goal (and wasn't that exciting...zzzzzzzz) all traveled, and nothing about Myst was new anymore.  SC4 is different, and only the world's smallest thanks for that (for the Lot Editor and BAT- heaven knows if the company had any idea what it was unleashing some corporate greedhead at EA would have nixed their release big time, I'm sure) is due the company that has by and large walked away from the most dedicated and creative fanbase in the gaming world today.  SimGoober, among others whose farm fields I was kvetching about, should be receiving annual stock options from EA, along with a surprising large number of others.  Instead, they're just as ignored and unrecognized as all the rest of us.

One thing that marks the Da Vincis and Michealangelos of the custom content world, though, is their willingness to listen to constructive feedback about the things they create.  I once exchanged emails for a month over some details in a commercial BAT with a LEX/STEX/PLEX God who shall remain nameless (but forever in my thoughts) who must have spent hours re-doing something simply because some guy nic'd "dedgren" who he'd never met before and wasn't ever likely to run into in the future "used to work at one of those and the such-and-so out front just wasn't that way."  We have, I truly believe, great custom content as a more or less direct result...

...on beyond that the people creating it are just so darn talented...

...of the fact that the folks who use it are so discerning.  So, all you folks who've never uploaded to the LEX, STEX or PLEX, and who, like me, couldn't BAT to save their life...

..."Can't BAT for Poop" is going on my gravestone...

...hold your head high if you've ever expressed your honest opinion about something great that could be made even greater.  You are doing every person in this community a service.

Well, that's a whole bunch of text- we're almost to the pics, folks.  I promise.

So anyway, I sat down today armed only with some ideas and a "trial and error" forged knowledge of the Lot Editor and Reader and decided to try my hand at making some farm fields more to my liking.

Another diversion, though.  I'll sum it up by saying that bananas do not grow in 3RR.  Neither does tobacco or sugar cane.  Oh sure, I could invent some wacky story about how, before his tragic death "hoist on his own petard" [linkie] Simon deBeauville Grand [linkie] discovered, like Aragorn finding the seedling of the White Tree [linkie], a "Zone 3-hardy" banana plant sprout or some-such, but that would just be cheating, now, wouldn't it?

So, out of the plethora of farm and farm field types that are available, here's the short...

...very short, heh!

...list of crops that will grow in 3RR country.

   corn
   soybeans
   wheat

I'd include sorghum and clover, but nobody's done a field for those crops.  Hey, it's the northern midwest of North America- not a day at the beach growing season-wise.  At least it's not like here in Alaska, where we have two seasons- winter and July.

This post is continued here [linkie].  See you on the flip side.
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

Giligone

Great post! I agree. Lol, what more can I say?

dedgren

#264
So, here come the pics.  As I said, I thought I would see what I could do with some farm lots. So I made a few.

#1


#2


In sum, I made four varieties of "bare ground" plop lots using just available plowed ground and dirt textures.  The lots are 1x1 (a gridsquare) and 4x4 (an acre).  Then I made two types of "crop" lots using one of the aforesaid textures and SG's plop seasonal "corn" and "wheat" props.  As you have noticed, I take the time to create a custom icon for them (so I can find them in the increasingly crowded "Parks" menu- I have that (the creation process) down to a science.  The crop lots are also 1x1 and 4x4.  Ignore the 6x6 one- it was an early experiment and I just forgot to remove it.

#3


Here's a wide-angle lookie at fields that I have made entirely out of these lots, except for leaving any farm buildings and immediate surroundings that had grown.

#4


Here's, from bottom to top, a cornfield, then a harvested wheatfield, then one of the "plowed fields" lots.  The corn and wheat all changes at the same time, and the fields are all bare from mid-November through mid-January.  Not perfect, but better.

Note the windrow of oaks, broken by a few larger trees, along the road.  These really add to the ambience when you see them in the game.

The roadlike area at the end of the cornfield is the plowed but unsown area where the tractor and equipment turns around.  More on this later.

#5


Into the following summer. The wheat's grown here.  I'm giving the appearance of the wheat a C+.  I don't like the gridlike appearance but, short of changing the BAT, which I can't do, that's about it.

#6


An effort at making a natural woodside edge to a field.  Bare plowed ground in spring.

#7


Grown wheat in the summer.  The "griddy" look of the wheat is not a good fit with the irregular edge.

#8


Wheat's harvested by fall.  I like that.

#9


Winter, watching for that first snow.

#10


The corn is another thing altogether.  I think it really worked well, especially in the close-ups.  You see here the dirt areas, which need to have the textures worked on to add some tracks and "fuzz up" the edges.  I plan to do this (in another life, probably).  For now, they'll do.

#11


Same pic in the fall.  The small field behind the house is one of the "texture" fields.  It has a fresh-plowed" look.

#12


Winter, and the harvest is all in.

#13


Here's a fall pic of the corner of that irregular field we looked at earlier.  I like this one, and think that wheat would be okay if I could eliminate the banding that runs parallel to the road.  The field across the road is corn.

#14


A simple pic showing an intersection and surrounding fields.  Up close, there's a little bit of artifacting in the cornfields, but I do like them a lot better now.  I may spend some time in a future post on my thoughts as to how to fix this.

Ignore the rocks along the asphalt road- I'm playing with ways to deal with detailing the easement- that may be the subject of a future set of texture lots, as well.  That road needs shoulders- I have to figure out why they're missing.  I'm using Peg's MTP road and street mod- more on that later, too.

I'd rather have no crosswalks in the game at all as opposed to crosswalks everywhere, including here where they clearly don't belong.

#15


The seasons change, and so do the fields.

#16


A close-up of the corner.  The ends of the furrows will really work once they are retextured and the edges against the grass broken up.  This latter could also be done with a small "grass" colored ploppable- I'm going to look around and see if I can find something now existing to use.

#17


A close-up (level 4 view) of the end of a cornfield.  The plop rocks (I have no idea how they got there) remind me of Frodo's Bilbo's stone trolls [linkie] from whom (after they were turned to stone, of course) he obtained Sting [linkie].

UPDATE:  (1-24-07) Thanks Stephen (exodus101) for catching my mistaken identification of hobbit.  I should be ashamed...

I plan, as noted, to lose the razor-sharp edges of the plowed but unsown area at the end of the corn rows.

#18


Here's a view from a different angle of that farm we saw a bit ago.  The lilacs are great!  This is about as good as it gets, even if the corn is too close up on the water tank.  I can fix that.

#19


Yup, it doesn't get much better than this.  Give the LOTter/BATter here 10 bonus points for making the lilac seasonal.

#20


The "main drag" [linkie].  Got to do something about those shoulders.  I really don't miss the sidewalks out here in the country, though.

I'll close this longer than I expected post out with a piece of pure eye candy.  Wildcat Rapids.

#21


...just a short walk from town...

Still more to come.  Lots more.

Later.
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

threestooges

From what I can see, you have truly put some massive effort into this (that poke to the eye may have done something...kidding btw). I think though, in regard to the oddly shaped field, that a buffer of dirt (for the tractor(s) to turn around) would help and, insofar as I have been able to do so, add som extra dirt and blend it in with the trees. There will still be a grid-iness to it, but to some extent (from the little I know about farming equipment) that sort of pattern would be caused by a mechanical planter. If they intended to keep a barren patch at the end then the likely would not waste seed there and would turn the planter off before making the turn (thus causing a sudden stop). Pic 10 of your last update just seems to sell the overll effect so well (even if the corn is close to the water tank (it needs to drink too... and hey...bring the tank to a boil, dip the ears in and have a picnic fresh of the stalk...sorry, it's late).

Additionally, to NikNik: I was reading over your post. In terms of english words for rivers rising:
swell: (verb: to swell): a calm rise in water level. Similar to a flood but without the extreme flows of water. ex: the river swelled//The river is swollen.
flood: (noun/adj/verb: to flood): it it usually used when a large amount of water overflows the banks (usually associated with a storm as far as I can tell). ex: The flood destroyed many structures in town.
Those are the only ones I can think of. I hope that helps in some way.

wouanagaine

Just one comment, I can't imagine plopping all thoses fields :(
Great works, I like you show us the seasonnal variety



New Horizons Productions
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio ♦ dedgren ♦ emilin ♦ Ennedi ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley
M4346 ♦ moganite ♦ Papab2000 ♦ Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Divide wouanagaine by zero and you will in fact get one...one bad-ass that is - Alek King of SC4

thundercrack83

Well, pictures 10 and 11 are some of the best farm shots that I've ever seen anywhere. The wheat looks absolutely incredible, and again, the seasonality that you show gives another dimension that makes everything look and feel very realistic.

On another note, I should also take this time to point out that I am really running out of creative and original ways to applaud your work. Soon I'm going to have to break out a thesaurus for some new superlatives! In other words, great job! Keep up the good work! Other positive feedback clichés!

nedalezz

Wow, huge update! I love the work on the farms; I especially like the "freshly plowed" pic. When I saw the first couple of pics, I thought "The farms look too griddy", but after viewing the rest of the update, I am truely impressed. You definitely have a skill, lovely work.

NikNik

Quote from: threestooges on January 23, 2007, 11:47:56 PM
Additionally, to NikNik: I was reading over your post. In terms of english words for rivers rising:
swell: (verb: to swell): a calm rise in water level. Similar to a flood but without the extreme flows of water. ex: the river swelled//The river is swollen.
flood: (noun/adj/verb: to flood): it it usually used when a large amount of water overflows the banks (usually associated with a storm as far as I can tell). ex: The flood destroyed many structures in town.
Those are the only ones I can think of. I hope that helps in some way.
Thank you Threestooges. To swell beyond the river banks is what I was looking for.

Great update David. You have put a lot of work in getting the right touch. I personnaly like the dirt area berween the corn fields. It's like waiting for some Hollywood producer to shoot a scene in. Pic 10 indeed looks perfect!

Nik-Nik

Badsim

Hi , David ,

You're a boring perfectionist , you know  $%Grinno$% , I like that so much ! ;D



Maybe I know a trick to solve that ... Have to test something .
See you later .

°   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °   °


wouanagaine

David, I forgot to suggest you Darmok Transit Enabled Rural Trail Set. I'm sure you'll get the best out of it

New Horizons Productions
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio ♦ dedgren ♦ emilin ♦ Ennedi ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley
M4346 ♦ moganite ♦ Papab2000 ♦ Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Divide wouanagaine by zero and you will in fact get one...one bad-ass that is - Alek King of SC4

meinhosen

I can't even begin to imagine trying to plop all those farm fields.  I found it easier to identify some custom farm-growables I really liked and simply change the field lots they are allowed to grow, but I guess that's just me.

The rural areas are just fantastic.  Shame that part of PEGs MTP road mod isn't showing for you... I'm sure that once you figure out what the trouble is, the area you just showed us will look even better.

Absolutely fantastic.  :thumbsup:
You're telling me I get to be home for more than 12 months?


bat

Wonderful SC4-Pictures! Fantastic farms!

Alek King of SC4

looking at your pics and looking at mine it is hard to believe it is the same game.

mightygoose

great farms, i love the ploppable fields, i may have to use them if you upload them...
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....

derek_pearce

Signature comming soon

exodus101

Hey David,

Great post as usual!  I'm definitely interested in the idea of ploppable farmland despite the effort it may take to lay it down.  I'd love to try them out.  Maybe you could put them on the LEX once you feel they are adequately complete.  Since I haven't done much in the SC4 farming world I'm wondering if these farm lots are actually functional or are they just pretty to look at? 

One last note:

QuoteThe plop rocks (I have no idea how they got there) remind me of Frodo's stone trolls from whom (after they were turned to stone, of course) he obtained Sting.

Great reference but Frodo would probably point out that Bilbo was the one who encountered the trolls, kept them up until they turned to stone, and then obtained Sting.  I realize however, that your eye injury may have caused you to confuse or interchange names...which is totally understandable.  ;) 

Thanks for the excellent post.  I look forward to the next one!

-Stephen

dedgren

#278
Hoo boy.  A huge new bunch of posts, and I'm on the way out the door on a very snowy Wednesday (about 6"/15 cm more yesterday, a total foot/.3 m since the weekend) to work.  I'll take a careful look tonight.

I did see though, that Stephen (exodus101) had pointed out

QuoteGreat reference but Frodo would probably point out that Bilbo was the one who encountered the trolls, kept them up until they turned to stone, and then obtained Sting.

Certainly agree with that.  Frodo is the self-effacing type, and would never take credit for the work of another.

...come to think of it, it was Gandalf [linkie] who actually caused the trolls to turn to stone...

I do have to take exception to the following-

QuoteI realize however, that your eye injury may have caused you to confuse or interchange names...which is totally understandable.

Nope.  Early onset senility, pure and simple.  I can almost repeat those stories by heart- I can't believe I got that wrong.

...grumble, grumble...now where'd I put my teeth?

Anyway, Stephen, you join the hallowed ranks of 3RR Fact Checkers, and will be suitably honored at the next awards ceremony.
___________________

Something amusing.  I planned to put it up yesterday, but ran out of post.

A few days ago, I posted 3RR "then and now" pics [linkie].  As those of you who have followed the whole meandering story since March 12, 2006 starting over at Simtropolis will recall...

...but didn't- got you there [ mad cackle ]...

...Three Rivers Region actually started as a four large quad (of course, I didn't call them that back then) region, and was then expanded not once, but twice.  I thought I hadn't kept any region level pics of the first time around, but found one while setting up a new hard drive the other day.  So, here's the proper pic chronology.

Phase 1 - March-May, 2006


Phase 2 - May-October, 2006


Phase 3 - October, 2006-current


On this last map, I've noted the comparative size of the respective areas covered by the earlier two iterations.  I think it's safe to say I've sharpened my SC4 skills a bit over the past 10 months or so.

Anyway, gotta go.

Later.
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

kwakelaar

#279
I like what I see, both farms and forest are turning out very different to what Maxis gave us.

About the MTP from Pegasus, he has used a transparent texture instead of the road-with-sidewalk texture for this kind of zoning (no zoning). Normally if you just make an overlay texture with only the road, one of the standard wealth textures from Maxis will show. You can change the settings for this mod in the Ilive Reader, and also the crossings can be changed in the Reader. You will need another texture for that though.

You must have a very heavy computer to be able to handle that region, it has become huge.